Rob Barff has been making a name for himself in GT racing in recent seasons, competing a variety of cars and championships.

Crash.net recently cornered the amiable Briton, and asked him about his career to date and his exciting plans for 2004.

Q:
Rob, 2003 was quite an interesting year, you were in and out of a lot of different cars and different championships. How do you feel about the year looking back?

Rob Barff:
It was a good season. With hindsight, I probably didn't focus enough on one championship and was a bit 'here, there and everywhere'. I started the year at Daytona, which was fantastic. To do the Daytona 24 Hours and finish on the podium was a good springboard to start the year. I then went into the ALMS, doing the Sebring 12 Hours with TVR, came back and did seven or eight races in both Moslers and TVRs in the British GT Championship, as well as the Le Mans and Spa 24 Hour races. Oh, and there was the Spa 1000K as well!

Q:
It was obviously a very busy year for you - are the longer distance races a direction you are trying to aim in?

RB:
Absolutely - after four seasons in GTs, three domestically in the UK and then internationally last year, I hope to move into sportscars this year. I really see the prototype route as the way forward.

Q:
Which areas in particular are you looking at for 2004?

RB:
The Le Mans Endurance Series - the new programme of four 1000km races at Monza, Nurburgring, Le Mans and Spa.

Q:
Your Le Mans experience last year wasn't quite what you would have wished for though?

RB:
I did the first hour and fifteen minutes, then Richard [Stanton] took the car over and had a problem.

Q:
This time of year lots of drivers are trying to put things in place for the season, so how firmed up are your plans?

RB:
We are still dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's, but things are as firmed up as they can be at this time of the year - race suits are being made, the cars arrive in the country shortly, and I can't say too much more than that at the moment. If it all comes together there will be a fantastic programme that will be a positive career move for me.

Q:
The Daytona podium must have been a career highlight, are you looking to do better than that this year?

RB:
Of course. We are going back to Sebring in March and, if we have a good result there, that will give us an entry for the Le Mans 24-Hours in June.

Q:
You really made a name for yourself in British GTs in recent seasons, how do you feel about the changes to the championship in 2004?

RB:
I think it will be a change for the better. Stephane Ratel is championship co-ordinator for the FIA series, which is a fabulous series to be involved with. I actually drove in the last round of the FIA GTs at Monza and looking at the set-up that is in place on the continent, I think it will be welcomed in the UK.

I have said for years that I think crowds would much rather watch TVRs, Porsches, Moslers rather than Vauxhall Astras and Protons, and I think the GTs put on a much better show. Managed properly, with the right TV package and good PR, I think it could be a good thing for British GT racing.

Q:
When you look back at the end of 2004, what are the things that have to happen for you to regard it as a good year?

RB:
I need to make the jump from semi-professional to professional status. I need to be recognised alongside the likes of Andy Wallace and James Weaver as a professional sportscar drivers. There is a market within the profession for sportscar drivers, and they have proved that.

It's not all about single-seaters, it's not all about touring cars, there are many drivers now cutting it as professionals in sportscars, and I feel I am good enough to make it as one. If I didn't, I would go and do something a whole lot easier!

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